More Bank Focus to Regional and Remote Areas

Senator Barry O’Sullivan, one of the main advocates for the Banking Royal Commission, says it’s now time for the banks to set up and restore their credibility by re-engaging with people from the bush.

Banking-Royal-Comm-PICHe says the banks need to provide products and services that ‘work’ for rural enterprises and factor in extremes like drought and fluctuating income streams.

“One of the things I’ll be urging the banks to do as they restructure culturally, is to look at their relationship with rural and regional Australia, in terms of lending. We know over a long period of time now, over decades, there’s been any number of anecdotal stories on how difficult it’s been for people in the bush.”

He says there’s no question that branches in regional areas should be reopened.

Mr O’Sullivan says the he believes one of the key problems for people in rural and remote areas is the loos of that personal touch and banks need to have people on the ground, in the communities.

“You’ve got decision makers who are living in those communities who understand the challenges that are faced by that particular client at that time,” he said.

“I’ve been more surprised than what I thought I would be (at the banking revelations) – the depth and systemic nature of what could otherwise be described as corruption has shocked everybody.”